Arizona Mosque Attacked by Thousands of Stinging Bees

At least 20 people were stung and one hospitalized
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2016 3:25 PM CDT

(Newser) – A swarm of up to 20,000 Africanized bees wreaked havoc on an Arizona mosque Friday afternoon, stinging at least 20 people and sending one man to the hospital, KNXV reports. The incident took place at the Muslim Community Mosque in Phoenix. “It was just crazy how everyone was running everywhere,” says John Chavarria, a neighbor who witnessed the attack from the safety of his home. "People would fall in the grass and then just keep running." According to the Arizona Republic, firefighters arrived on the scene and sprayed a bee-calming foam over the area while getting bystanders to a safe place. The street was blocked off and neighbors were told to stay inside. One neighbor tells KNXV it was a "scary situation."

Crews removed multiple people from the mosque by ambulance, and a 24-year-old man was taken to the hospital. ABC News reports he was in stable condition. It's not clear what caused the attack, which was caught on video, but a local exterminator tells Fox 10 Phoenix: "It's always a bad situation when you're talking about Africanized bees, because once one bee creates a pheromone which sends off the other bees to attack." The bees were removed from the area by a bee keeper a few hours after the attack. (Read more bees stories.)

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